Reformat and reinstall on Dell Dimension 3000 - can't boot up with OS disk!

Discussion in 'Dell' started by optech290, Aug 20, 2006.

  1. optech290

    optech290 Guest

    Ok, so I started the process for reinstalling on a Dell Dimension 3000.
    I created the XP OS cd disk using the one time Dell utility.

    I then went into BIOS to make sure the CD-rom device was the first choice
    of boot-up with the OS disk in the drive. No luck. I even deactivated the
    hard drive as an option in BIOS and the sytem still booted from the C:
    drive and didn't recognize the OS disk in the CD rom drive.

    Is it possible that the recreated OS disk doesn't have a bat bootup file or
    some other file that the system will recognize upon bootup? I neglected to
    check it in the office. I know there's an autorun.inf file on it, so it
    does run after the system is booted.

    Other than using the 6 disk floppy setup for reformat and reinstall, what's
    my other options? Should I use Copywipe (free utility)from,

    or is there a better method for these problematic Dell computers?
    Can I just create a boot or startup disk and do a format command at the dos

    (As an aside, this whole nonsense with a one time creation of a OS disk is
    ridiculous. You are completely dependent on the quality of the disk you
    use and the CD-rw. If the disk has a bad sector, you're stuck.).
    optech290, Aug 20, 2006
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  2. optech290

    Jay B Guest

    reenable the hard drive in the bios.
    then reboot
    try hitting the f12 key when you see the post message.
    then select the option to boot from the cdrom.
    if the cd still doesnt boot, then you didnt make it right or it is
    i wouldnt use copywipe because you will then have nothing.
    perhaps you can boot from another boot disk first, and then just run the
    setup program from the cd. may have something you can use.
    Jay B, Aug 20, 2006
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  3. optech290

    Harry Ohrn Guest

    When the system starts is there a POST screen? Or do you see a Dell Logo
    screen or some sort? I've found that some systems that are set to show a
    Logo screen might cover the message that instructs you to press a key to
    boot the CD. Try going into the BIOS and see if there is an entry for
    something like Quick Boot or Rapid Boot and disable that. Also see if the
    BIOS is set to display a Logo screen. If so disable it and then try booting
    the CD.
    Harry Ohrn, Aug 20, 2006
  4. optech290

    optech290 Guest

    I stated in my original message that I selected the cdrom as my first
    option. I tried every permutation and it still booted to the hard drive
    (even with the hard drive deselected as a boot option!).

    That's exactly what I want left on the hard drive! NOTHING! I want a
    pristine install.

    Are you saying that the Dell created OS cd-rom won't perform a reinstall
    after a reformat?
    optech290, Aug 20, 2006
  5. optech290

    optech290 Guest

    Will try that next. When the system starts there's a message in the upper
    right hand corner to press f2 or f12 for setup.

    The Dell logo screen appears during the above message. I think I've tried
    hitting f2 and selecting "boot from the IDE CDrom device" and it was still
    no go.
    optech290, Aug 20, 2006
  6. optech290

    Jay B Guest

    then your cd is not bootable.

    Jay B, Aug 20, 2006
  7. optech290

    Jay B Guest

    i've never tried to make the os cd that dell had provided in the past to
    some systems. i always buy the cd's.

    once you boot off the cd, and do the option to install windows xp,
    you can delete the partition, recreate it, and then do a full format
    (not quick) and that will erase everything on the hard drive. no other
    program is required to be run first.

    your problem is getting the os installation cd in a bootable form.

    you can try calling dell and tell them your problem and they may mail
    you a set of cd's if you're nice to them. even offer to pay them the $10
    they currently charge at time of purchase. many times they do it for free.
    Jay B, Aug 20, 2006
  8. optech290

    Colin Wilson Guest

    Ok, so I started the process for reinstalling on a Dell Dimension 3000.
    Try putting the disc in another PC and see if it detects / auto-runs -
    you don't need to go any further than that, its just a check to see if
    the disc itself is OK.

    Could the CD drive be knackered ?
    Colin Wilson, Aug 20, 2006
  9. optech290

    optech290 Guest

    The CD was burned ok. The autorun feature starts once the system is booted
    from the hard drive. I'm just wondering if there's a missing bat file or
    something similar on the disk that tells the system to boot up from the
    cdrom drive before it boots from the hard drive.

    I'm trying to use the MS site exe file that makes boot floppies for XPSP2.
    I created the 6 disk set, but the setup halts at disk 4 (something about a
    missing file). I'm going to recreate disk 4, and if that doesn't work,
    there's obviously something that Dell installs that just makes it difficult
    to wipe their system clean.

    I'm advising all experienced users to either build their own machines, or
    buy from a vendor that supplies the OS system disk, and lets you partition
    and do your own install.

    Check the Dell Dimension forums. It's packed with reinstallation and boot
    up questions.
    optech290, Aug 20, 2006
  10. optech290

    optech290 Guest

    As I've stated before, the autorun feature is perfect AFTER the system is
    booted from the hard drive with XP running. The installation screen
    appears automatically after the disk is inserted.

    The problem is booting from the darn thing!
    optech290, Aug 20, 2006
  11. optech290

    Harry Ohrn Guest

    Just because the disc will auto run from Windows doesn't mean it is
    bootable. A bootable CD has a hidden boot sector. If it is missing or
    damaged then the CD can't boot from start-up. Colin gave you a good
    suggestion. See if the CD boots from start-up in another computer.
    Harry Ohrn, Aug 20, 2006
  12. optech290

    Tom Scales Guest

    Dell DOES provide a full XP CD for $10 at the time of purchase. Too bad you
    didn't choose to buy it
    Tom Scales, Aug 20, 2006
  13. optech290

    Colin Wilson Guest

    Dell DOES provide a full XP CD for $10 at the time of purchase. Too bad you
    It depends on when you ordered and where you live. I've bought 3 systems
    from them - one came with the XP disc IIRC, the other two did _NOT_ have
    it as an option, and I had to burn them from the machine themselves.

    So much for "not choosing" to buy it.
    Colin Wilson, Aug 20, 2006
  14. optech290

    HDRDTD Guest

    Just as a long shot, did you hit F12 during the boot up (during the POST), I
    believe that will bring up the boot menu and let you specifically choose
    which device to boot from, independant of the boot order in the BIOS.

    Hit F12, and choose from the menu to boot from the CD and see what happens.
    (provided you haven't already tried this).
    HDRDTD, Aug 20, 2006
  15. optech290

    HDRDTD Guest

    agreed. It all depends on when the system was bought and perhaps which

    In the US, Dell went through a phase where they used to ship the OS cd'd by
    default all the time at no cost.

    Then they decided to not include the OS CD, but instead (provided your
    system was bought with a burner), gave you a one time option to burn your
    own OS CD.

    Then they decided not to do that either, but to make the purchase of the OS
    cd an $10 option which you could choose from the first page of the
    configuration screens.

    Then in there infinite wisdom, they moved the choice to purchase the OS cd
    to the SECOND page of the configuration screens, a screen that most people
    don't spend much time on, and thus made it very simple for people to
    overlook the option to buy the OS CD at the time of purchase.

    Now typically they have moved the OS CD purchase option back top the first
    configuration page.

    Options for other countries probably vary.
    HDRDTD, Aug 20, 2006
  16. optech290

    longman Guest

    Did you use a cd-rw? If so that is your problem. Unless cd-rw's are
    finalized they DO NOT work as boot disks.
    longman, Aug 20, 2006
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